Maybe you just spent $800 to $1000 on your recent laptop purchase and you couldn’t afford that Microsoft Office Bundle. Look I’m here to tell you its ok, you won’t get left behind. There is movement going on called Open Source!
What I’m going to talk about is only for the average pc user. The Open Source community is growing every day with new products. The majority function like a non-profit. Others have the intention of providing the product free while in beta development to fix any bugs for a final commercial release. Either way its free…. Just like this blog! (Twitter too - @robot_sonic)
For part one we’ll consider the basics for office productivity. Microsoft Office the big daddy of trusted office productivity a staple to every home computer. Currently the Home and Student 2010 Version is $150. Woah… In this economy… you crazy! Thanks to the good folks at Oracle, Openoffice.org is completely free and technically provides the highest $500 version of Office Professional for free. And OpenOffice’s Drawing feature can function like Adobe Acrobat as it can edit native pdf files! Text Document - Word, Spreadsheet - Excel, Presentation - PowerPoint, Drawing - Abode Acrobat & Visio, Database - Access. The only thing its missing is Outlook, which is highly over rated. And Openoffice hasn’t adopted the ribbon approach that Office 2010 features… so its more like office 2003.
Also try LibreOffice… I haven’t used it but it appears like a exact copy of openoffice. Both are compatible with the Microsoft Office format. There are more open source Office alternatives but these two are the top prefered.
What did you say? You just can’t work with just anyone? You need the warm fuzzy pillow effect that only Microsoft can give you… ok well they have something for you. Office Web Apps! Have a hotmail or msn account… Signup for a free Skydrive from Microsoft and use Office Web Apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote). They are slightly stripped versions but provide an excellent solution to simple word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation needs. When you on the go and need to make quick changes to your PowerPoint and share it quickly, without worry about format issues.
Are you Google 24/7 like me? Then do I really need to talk about Google Docs! Gmail, Calendar, Documents (Document, Spreadsheet, Drawing). I believe it is the ultimate in sharing and live collaboration. And virtually unlimited storage as well!
Stop throwing away your money on false promises and support the little guy. Just like Football, its with your support that Open source software will thrive and become the norm. Now I have not listed all the software out there, but I’ve given you the most featured and trusted options, please feel free to suggest!